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Blueberry Orange Quick Bread

Blueberry Orange Quick Bread

Blueberry muffins, coffee cakes and other baked goods are excellent additions to just about any brunch spread. I particularly like it when blueberries are paired with citrus, as the brightness of lemons, limes and oranges really contrast well with jammy sweetness of the berries. This Blueberry Orange Quick Bread is a very easy loaf that pairs juicy blueberries with fresh oranges for delicious accompaniment to your morning coffee.

The term “quick bread” simply refers to a loaf that is leavened with chemical leaveners – both baking powder and baking soda, in this case – instead of yeast. It is less sweet and has a more open texture than a cake, so it feels less indulgent and a bit lighter. These qualities make it perfect for morning snacking, since you won’t fee like you’re eating dessert for breakfast (not that there is anything wrong with that!). That said, the cake has a nice sweetness from both the orange juice and the berries. I used both fresh orange juice and lots of orange zest to really infuse the loaf with citrus flavor. You’ll need 1-2 oranges for this loaf, depending on how juicy yours are, and it is worth it to start with fresh oranges for best results.

You can use fresh blueberries or frozen blueberries in this recipe. If using frozen, use the berries from frozen (do not thaw) and toss them in a few teaspoons of flour before stirring them into the batter. Frozen blueberries often have a bit of frost and blueberry juice on their skin and tossing them in a little bit of flour helps to prevent that juice from bleeding into the batter as you fold them in. Fresh blueberries are my preference when they’re in season, but you can’t go wrong with either.

The loaf is ready to eat as soon as it cools down and it will keep for a couple of days after baking. Unlike most recipes, where I suggest storing them in an airtight container, this bread will get soggy (thanks to all those berries) if it is tightly wrapped. Instead, I usually store leftovers in a partially closed container (a large ziploc with a corner left open is perfect) to keep them feeling and tasting fresh.

Blueberry Orange Quick Bread
2 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 tbsp orange zest
3/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
1 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen
1-2 tbsp coarse sugar, for topping

Preheat oven to 375F. Lightly grease a 9×5-inch loaf pan and line the bottom with parchment paper, if desired.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and sugar.
In a  medium bowl, whisk together vegetable oil, egg, orange zest and orange juice. Pour mixture into the dry ingredients and whisk until batter just comes together. Add in blueberries and fold until well-distributed. Pour batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with coarse sugar.
Bake for about 46-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the loaf comes out clean or with only a few moist crumbs attached. Allow loaf to cool in the pan before slicing.

Makes 1 loaf

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